The single best book on the Nice Guy Syndrome from the guy who invented the term.
Dr. Glover explains what it is, how it came to be and provides forty-six exercises to help Nice Guys break free.
If you are a nice guy or think you may be, I highly recommend reading this book and doing the exercises.
If you like spirituality, The Road Less Traveled is uniquely insightful and thought-provoking. Or if you've ever contemplated the ceaseless nature of change, Who Moved My Cheese offers a simple yet powerful parable to relate to this phenomenon with greater wisdom.
- Five decades of dramatic social change and monumental shifts in the traditional family have created a breed of men who have been conditioned to seek the approval of others.
- These men are called Nice Guys.
- Nice Guys are concerned about looking good and doing it “right”. They are happier when they are making others happy. Nice Guys avoid conflict like the plague and will go do great lengths to avoid upsetting anyone. In general, Nice Guys are peaceful and generous.
- Nice Guys are especially concerned about pleasing women and being different from other men.
- Nice Guys have believed a myth.
- The Nice Guy Syndrome represents a belief that if Nice Guys are “good,” they will be loved, get their needs met, and live a problem-free life. When this life strategy fails to produce the desired results - as it often does - Nice Guys usually just try harder, doing more of the same. Due to the sense of helplessness and resentment this pattern inevitably produces, Nice Guys are anything but nice.
Chapter 1 The Nice Guy Syndrome
- “I’m a nice guy. I’m one of the nicest guys you’re ever going to meet.”
Who Are These Men?
- This attempt to be good typically involves trying to eliminate or hide certain things about themselves (their mistakes, needs, emotions), and become what they believe others want them to be (generous, helpful, peaceful, etc).
Characteristics of Nice Guys
Nice Guys frequently state that it makes them feel good to give to others.
- Nice Guys fix and caretake.
- Nice Guys seek approval from others.
- Nice Guys avoid conflict.
- Nice Guys believe they must hide their perceived flaws and mistakes.
- Nice Guys seek the “right” way to do things.
- Nice Guys repress their feelings.
- Nice Guys often try to be different from their fathers.
- Nice Guys are often more comfortable relating to women than to men.
- Nice Guys have difficulty making their needs a priority.
- Nice Guys often make their partner their emotional center.
What’s Wrong With Being a Nice Guy?
- By giving these men the label Nice Guy, I’m not so much referring to their actual behavior, but to their core belief system about themselves and the world around them.
The term nice guy is actually a misnomer because Nice Guys are often anything but nice. Here are some not-so-nice traits of Nice Guys:
- Nice Guys are dishonest.
- Nice Guys are secretive.
- Nice Guys are compartmentalized.
- Nice Guys are manipulative.
- Nice Guys are controlling.
- Nice Guys give to get.
- Nice Guys are passive-aggressive.
- Nice Guys are full of rage.
- Nice Guys are addictive.
- Nice Guys have difficulty setting boundaries.
- Nice Guys are frequently isolated.
- Nice Guys are often attracted to people and situations that need fixing.
- Nice Guys frequently have problems in intimate relationships.
- Nice Guys have issues with their sexuality.
- Nice Guys are usually only relatively successful.
But He Seemed Like Such A Nice Guy
- It is not unusual for unsuspecting people to mistake the passive, pleasing, and generous characteristics of a nice guy for those of a healthy male. To many women, the nice guy initially appears to be a real catch because the nice guy is different from other men they've been with.
- Unfortunately, the negative traits listed above find a way to ooze out into Nice Guys’ lives and personal relationships. I have listened to countless wives, partners and girlfriends describe the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde qualities of Nice Guys.
The Integrated Male
- Nice Guys tend to be very black and white in their thinking.
- The process of breaking free from ineffective nice guy patterns doesn't involve becoming “not nice.” Rather, it means becoming “Integrated."
- Being integrated means being able to accept all aspects of one's self. An integrated man is able to embrace everything that makes them unique: his power, his assertiveness, his courage, and his passion as well as his imperfections, his mistakes, and his dark side.
An integrated mail possesses many of the following attributes:
- He has a strong sense of self. He likes himself just as he is.
- He takes responsibility for getting his own needs met.
- He is comfortable with his masculinity and his sexuality.
- He has integrity. He does what is right, not what is expedient.
- He is a leader. He is willing to provide for and protect those he cares about.
- He is clear, direct, and expressive of his feelings.
- He can be nurturing and giving without caretaking or problem-solving.
- He knows how to set boundaries and is not afraid to work through conflict.
- An integrated male doesn't strive to be perfect or gain the approval of others. Instead, he accepts himself just as he is, warts and all.
- Breaking free from the Nice Guy Syndrome demands embracing a totally different way of viewing one’s self in the world and a complete change in one's personal paradigm.
- A paradigm is the roadmap we used to navigate life's journey.
- Data that does not fit in our paradigm is screened out and never reaches our conscious mind. Information that does fit our paradigm is magnified by the process, adding even greater support for that particular way of believing.
- Most paradigms are developed when we are young, naïve, and relatively powerless. They are often based on the inaccurate interpretations of childhood experiences. Since they are often unconscious, they are rarely evaluated or updated.
The Ineffective Nice Guy Paradigm
- The working paradigm of the nice guy is this:
If I can hide my flaws and become what I think others want me to be then I will be loved, get my needs met, and have a problem-free life.
- Even when this paradigm is ineffective, Nice Guys only see one alternative: try harder.
Doing Something Different
Over the last several years, I have watched countless men "do something different "by applying the principles contained in this book.
- Accept themselves just as they are
- Use their mistakes as valuable learning tools
- Stop seeking the approval of others
- Experience loving and intimate relationships
- Make their needs a priority
- Find people who are able and willing to help them meet their needs
- Learn to give judiciously and with no strings attached
- Face their fears
- Develop integrity and honesty
- Set boundaries
- Build meaningful relationships with men
- Create healthier, more satisfying relationships with women
- Experience and express their feelings
- Deal with problems directly
- Develop an intimate and satisfying sexual relationship
- Find peace with the changing complexities of life
Asking For Help
- Nice Guys believe they should be able to do everything on their own. They have a difficult time asking for help and try to hide any signs of imperfection or weakness.
- Even though I am sure it is possible to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome without the help of a group, it is the most effective tool I know for facilitating the recovery process.
Chapter 2 The Making Of A Nice Guy
- The premise of this book is that during their formative years all Nice Guys received messages from their families and the world around them that it was not safe, acceptable, or desirable for them to be who they were, just as they were.
Coping With Abandonment
- The most impressionable time in an individual's life is from birth to about five years.
- First, when children come into the world they're totally helpless. As a result of this dependency, every child's greatest fear is abandonment. To children, abandonment means death.
- Second, children are ego-centered. Therefore, they believe that they are the cause everything that happens to them.
Whenever a child experiences any kind of abandonment he will always believe that he is the cause of what has happened to him.
- He is hungry and no one feeds him
- He cries and no one holds him
- He is lonely and no one pays attention to him
- A parent gets angry at him
- A parent neglects him
- A parent puts unrealistic expectations on him
- A parent uses him to gratify his or her own needs
- A parent shames him
- A parent hits him
- A parent doesn’t want him
- A parent leaves him and doesn’t come back in a timely manner
- They conclude that there must be something wrong with them, which causes the important people in their lives to abandon them.
- Toxic shame is not just a belief that one does bad things, it is a deeply held core belief that one is bad.
As a result of these abandonment experiences and the faulty interpretation of these events, all children develop survival mechanisms to help them do three very important things:
- Try to cope with the emotional and physical distress of being abandoned.
- Try to prevent similar events from happening again.
- Try to hide their internalized toxic shame (or perceived badness) from themselves and others.
The Origin Of The Nice Guy Paradigm
- When questioned about their childhood, Nice Guys frequently tell me they grew up in "perfect,""great," Leave It To Beaver, or “All American” families.
- As a result of their internalized toxic shame, each developed a life paradigm that involved seeking approval and hiding perceived laws.
Perfect Little Boys To Nice Guys
- The progression from perfect little boy to nice guy basically occurs in three stages: abandonment, internalization of toxic shame, and the creation of survival mechanisms.
Two Kinds of Nice Guys
- In one form, a nice guy exaggerates his toxic shame and believes he is the worst kind of person. I called this man the "I'm so bad" nice guy.
- The “I'm so bad" nice guy is convinced everyone can see how bad he is. He can give concrete examples of bad behavior in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood that support his core belief about himself.
- The second kind of nice guy is the "I'm so good" Nice guy. This man handles his toxic shame by repressing his core beliefs about his worthlessness.
- He masks his toxic shame with the belief that all the good things he does makes him a good person.
The Baby Boom Generation And The Sensitive Guy
To truly understand the current phenomena of the Nice Guy Syndrome, we have to take into account a series of significant social changes that began around the turn of the century an accelerated phone World War II. These social dynamics included:
- The transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy
- The movement of families from rural areas to urban areas
- The absence of fathers from the home
- The increase in divorce, single parent homes, and homes headed by women
- An educational system dominated by women
- Women's liberation and feminism
- The Vietnam War
- The sexual revolution
These social changes crated three profound dynamics that contributed to the widespread phenomena of the Nice Guy Syndrome in the baby boom generation.
- Boys were separated from their fathers and other significant male role models.
- Boys were left to be raised by women.
- Radical feminism implied that men were bad and/or unnecessary
Soft Males And Boy-Men
- Robert Bly, the author of iron John, writes, “they're lovely, valuable people – I like them – they're not interested in harming the earth or starting wars. There’s a gentle attitude toward life in their whole being and style of living. But many of these men are not happy. You quickly notice the lack of energy in them. They’re life-preserving but not exactly life giving. Ironically, you often see these men with strong women who positively radiate energy. Here we have a finely tuned young man, ecologically superior to his father, sympathetic to the whole harmony of the universe, yet he himself has little vitality to offer.”
The Habits Of Highly Ineffective Men
Nice Guys prevent themselves from getting what they want in life and love by:
- Seeking the approval of others
- Trying to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes
- Putting other people's needs and wants before their own
- Sacrificing their personal power and playing the role of a victim
- Disassociating themselves with other men and their own masculine energy
- Co-creating relationships that are less than satisfying
- Creating situations in which they do not have very much good sex
- Failing to live up to their potential
Chapter 3 Learn to Please Yourself
- By trying to please everyone, Nice Guys often end up pleasing no one – including themselves.
- Because of their toxic shame, it is impossible for Nice Guys to grasp that people might like them and love them just for who they are.
How Nice Guys Use Attachments
- Cal is a typical nice guy and the way he uses attachments to seek approval. Cal tries to get external validation by always being in a good mood, driving a nice car, dressing well, having a cute daughter, and having an attractive wife.
- The irony is that no one really values Cal for his attachments. Further, his dependency on external validation actually prevents people from getting to know him just as he is. None of these things have anything to do with who he is as a person.
Seeking The Approval Of Women
- Nice Guys interpret a woman's approval as the ultimate validation of their worth.
- Seeking a woman's approval requires Nice Guys to constantly monitor the possibility of a woman's availability. The possibility of the availability is a term used to describe the subjective measure of a woman's sexual availability. Nice Guys see sex as the ultimate form of acceptance.
- Seeking women's approval gives women the power to set the tone of the relationship. Nice Guys constantly report that their own moods are often tied to the moods of their partner.
- Seeking women's approval gives women the power to define men and to determine their worth. If a woman says he is “wrong” or thinks he is a"jerk," a nice guy will be inclined to believe she's right.
- Seeking women's approval creates rage toward women. This is because we tend to eventually despise whatever we make into our God. Whenever God fails to respond the way we expect, we humans tend to respond in one of two ways. We either blindly intensify our acts of worship or lash out in righteous anger.
- This is why it is not unusual to hear a nice guy proclaim his undying love for a woman in one breath and then ragefully call her a”f…c…” only moments later.
The Nice Guy’s need to hide is often the most pronounced in areas that are just part of being human and alive.
- That they are sexual
- That they have bodily functions
- That they're getting older
- That they're losing their hair
- That they have needs
- That they're in perfect
Hiding The Evidence
Nice Guys find many creative ways to cover up their perceived flaws and mistakes.
- Drawing on their account
- DEER response: Defend, Explain, Excuse, Rationalize
- Turning the tables
- Nice Guys have a difficult time comprehending that in general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy.
- Hiding one's humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.
- Ironically, when Nice Guys begin focusing on pleasing themselves, they actually begin to experience intimacy and connection with others that they have always desperately craved
Identifying Approval-Seeking Behavior Helps Nice Guys Learn To Approve Of Themselves
- As odd as it may sound, Nice Guys have to practice being themselves.
Taking Good Care Of The Self Helps Nice Guys Learn To Approve Of Themselves
- When a recovering nice guy begins to consciously do good things for himself, these actions imply that he must be worth something.
- When the nice guy does something good for himself he is doing something that implies he is valuable. This will conflict with his deeply held belief that he is worthless. As a result, he will experience dissonance – a clashing of two competing messages.
Affirming Self Helps Nice Guys Learn to Approve Of Themselves
- Affirmations are only effective when used along with other processes that help change the nice guy’s core beliefs.
Spending Time Alone Helps Nice Guys Learn To Approve Of Themselves
- When alone, the recovering nice guy can do what he wants without having to please or compromise.
- Spending extended periods of time alone also helps recovering Nice Guys face there number one fear – Loneliness and isolation. When the nice guy discovers that spending time alone doesn't kill him, he may also realize that he doesn't have to stay in bad relationships, tolerate intolerable behavior, or manipulate people to try to get his needs met.
Revealing Self Helps Nice Guys Learn To Approve Of Themselves
- Safe people are essential for reversing the distorted beliefs all Nice Guys have about their worth.
- I suggest that the recovering Nice Guy set a regular time to meet with his safe person or group and, a little out of time, start revealing himself. This process begins by just talking about himself.
- Once trust has been established, he can begin to reveal things about himself that create fear and shame.
Shedding Old Skin
- By shedding their chameleon skin and learning to please themselves, recovering Nice Guys begin to experience the intimacy and connection they have always desired. By learning to approve of themselves, they begin to radiate a life energy and charisma that draws people to them.
Chapter 4 Make Your Needs A Priority
Low Maintenance Kinds Of Guys
- Nice Guys generally focus their attention on meeting everyone else's needs while trying to be "low-maintenance" kinds of guys themselves.
Trying To Appear Needless And Wantless Prevents Nice Guys From Getting Their Needs Met
- The only logical solution was to try to appear to be needless and wantless while trying to get their needs met in indirect and covert ways. Nice Guys are actually extremely needy.
Making It Difficult For Others To Give To Them Prevents Nice Guys From Getting Their Needs Met
- Nice Guys are terrible receivers.
Using Covert Contracts Prevents Nice Guys From Getting Their Needs Met
- Almost everything a nice guy does represents some manifestation of a covert contract.
The nice guy’s covert contract is simply this:
I will do this________________(fill in blank) for you, so that you will do this__________________ (fill in the blank) for me. We will both act as if we have no awareness of this contract.
Caring vs. Caretaking
- Nice Guys caretake for a number of reasons, none of them having anything to do with love. Nice Guys give in the ways they would like others to give to them.
The Victim Triangle
- Giving to get creates a cycle of craziness called the victim triangle.
- The nice guy gives to others hoping to get something in return.
- When it doesn't seem that he is getting as much as he gives or he isn't getting what he expected, he feels frustrated and resentful.
- When this frustration and resentment builds up long enough, it spills out in the form of rage attacks, passive-aggressive behavior, pouting, tantrums,
- withdrawing, criticizing, blaming, even physical abuse.
Becoming Truly Selfish
- I tell Nice Guys, "no one was put on this planet to meet your needs” (except their parents – and their job is done). I also remind them they weren't put on this planet to meet anyone else's needs (except those of their children).
- Helpless, whiny, wimpy, and needy are not attractive on a man. Confidence and self–assurance are attractive.
Taking Responsibility For Their Own Needs Helps Nice Guys Get Their Needs Met
- Having needs is part of being human.
- Mature people make meeting their own needs a priority.
- They can ask for help in meeting their needs in clear and direct ways.
- Other people really do want to help them meet their needs.
- The world is a place of abundance.
Making The Decision
- Making the decision to put one's self first is the hardest part.
Chapter 5 Reclaim Your Personal Power
- These men tend to see others as causing the problems they're experiencing in life.
A Paradigm Of Powerlessness
- Life is not smooth. Human existence is by nature chaotic.
Overcoming The Wimp Factor - Reclaiming Personal Power
- I define personal power as a state of mind in which a person is confident he can handle whatever may come. This kind of power not only successfully deals with problems, challenges and adversity, it actually welcomes them, meets them head-on, and is thankful for them. Personal power is the result of feeling fear but not giving in to fear.
Surrendering Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Personal Power
- Surrender allows recovery Nice Guys to let go and respond to life’s complex beauty, rather than trying to control it. Surrender allows these men to see life as a laboratory for learning, growth, and creativity.
Expressing Feelings Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Personal Power
- Nice Guys are terrified of two kinds of feelings – their own and everyone else’s. Any kind of intensity causes Nice Guys to feel out of control.
- Men who are in touch with their feelings are powerful, assertive, and energized.
Facing Fears Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Personal Power
- For Nice Guys, fear is recorded at the cellular level. It is a memory of every seemingly life– threatening experience that ever had. To cope with these realities, and Nice Guys typically hunker down and play it safe.
- Every time the nice guy confronts a fear, he unconsciously creates the belief that he can handle whatever it is he is afraid of. The more this confidence grows, the less threatening life seems.
Developing Integrity Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Personal Power
- Most Nice Guys pride themselves on being honest and trustworthy. In reality, Nice Guys are fundamentally dishonest.
- When Nice Guys are learning to tell the truth, I encourage them to pay attention to the things they least want others to know, and what they least want to reveal. These are the things they are most likely to hold back - and the things they most need to tell.
- Only by asking himself what he believes is right, and then doing it, does he become a man of integrity.
Setting Boundaries Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Personal Power
- If someone is crossing the boundary, it isn't the other persons problem; it is theirs.
Take A Walk On The Wild Side
- As they reclaim personal power, recovering Nice Guys can experience the world in all of its serendipitous beauty. Life won't always be smooth, it may not always be pretty, but it will be an adventure – one not to be missed.
Chapter 6 Reclaim Your Masculinity
- It seems that each successive generation of men are becoming more and more passive.
Nice Guys Tend To Be Disconnected From Other Men
- As long as Nice Guys are disconnected from men or believe they are different from other men, they cut themselves off from the many positive benefits of male companionship and the power of a masculine community.
Nice Guys Tend To Be Disconnected From Their Masculinity
- Masculinity empowers a man to create and produce. It also empowers them to provide for and protect those who are important to him. Masculine energy also represents potential for aggressiveness, destructiveness, and brutality.
- Many women have shared with me that due to the absence of any discernible life energy in Nice Guys, there is little to be attracted to. They also reveal that their tendency to be attracted to "jerks" is because these men have more of a masculine edge to them.
Nice Guys Tend To Be Monogamous To Their Mothers
- Both childhood situations – trying to please an angry or controlling mother, or becoming mothers little partner - create a dynamic in which Nice Guys unconsciously became monogamous to their mothers and did not individuate in a healthy way.
Nice Guys Tend To Seek The Approval Of Women
- Women view men who try to please them as week and hold these men and contempt. Women consistently share with me that they don't want to passive, pleasing wimp. They want a man – someone with his balls still intact.
Connecting With Men Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Masculinity
- Developing male relationships makes recovery Nice Guys less susceptible to seeking women's approval, or allowing themselves to be defined by the opposite sex. If the nice guy’s girlfriend or wife is angry at him or thinks he is a jerk, he can take comfort in knowing his buddies think he is OK. He is therefore less likely to resort to peacekeeping or fixing to try to keep his partner happy.
- Friendships with men have the potential for tremendous depth and intimacy because there is no sexual agenda. A nice guy will frequently avoid doing anything that might upset his partner and cause her to not want to have sex with him.
Breaking The Monogamous Bond To Mom
- Little boys get pulled into unhealthy relationships with their mothers only when their fathers allow it. The solution to reversing this dynamic is creating healthy relationships with men.
Getting Strong Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Masculinity
- Embracing one's masculinity means embracing one's body, power, and spaciousness. This involves eating healthy foods, eliminating drugs and alcohol, working out, drinking lots of water, playing, relaxing, and getting enough rest.
- Physical strength translates into self–confidence and power in every other aspect of his life.
Seeking Out Healthy Role Models Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Masculinity
- I encourage recovering Nice Guys to visualize what they think a healthy male would look like. With that picture in mind, they can go out and look for men who have these kinds of qualities.
Re-examining Their Relationship With Their Father Helps Nice Guys Reclaim Their Masculinity
- For Nice Guys, re–examining the relationship with their fathers means seeing their dads through their own eyes as they really are. It means taking them out of the gutter or off the pedestal.
- Recovering Nice Guys can begin to accept these men for who they were and are – wounded human beings.
Chapter 7 Get The Love You Want: Success Strategies For Intimate Relationships
Co-Creating Dysfunctional Relationship Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Love They Want
- The moment a Nice Guy enters a relationship he begins a balancing act. In relationships, a life–and–death struggle is played out to bounce their fear of vulnerability with their fear of isolation.
- This balancing act ensures that the Nice Guys closest relationships will most likely be his least intimate.
Patterns of Enmeshment And Avoidance Prevent Nice Guys From Getting The Love They Want
- This intimacy balancing act gets played out in two distinct ways for Nice Guys. The first is becoming overly involved in an intimate relationship at the expense of one's self and other outside interests. The second is through being emotionally unavailable to a primary partner while playing the night sky roll outside of the relationship. I call the first type of nice guy an enmesher and the second type an avoider.
- Both patterns, enmeshing and avoiding, inhibit any real kind of intimacy from occurring. They may help the Nice Guy feel safe, but they won’t help him feel loved.
Re-Creating Familiar Childhood Relationship Patterns Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Love They Want
- It is human nature to be attracted to what is familiar. Because of this reality, Nice Guys create adult relationships that mirror the dynamics of their dysfunctional childhood relationships.
Being Bad Enders Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Love They Want
- When healthy individuals recognize that they have created a relationship that is not a good fit, or that a partner they have chosen lacks the basic qualities they desire, they move on. Not Nice Guys. Nice Guys just keep trying harder to get a non-workable situation to work or get someone to be something they are not.
Strategies For Building Successful Relationships
- There are no perfect relationships. There are no perfect partners. Relationships by their very nature are chaotic, eventful, and challenging.
Learning To Approve Of Themselves Helps Nice Guys Get The Love They Want
- The essence of recovery from the Nice Guys Syndrome is the conscious decision to live one’s life just as one desires.
Setting Boundaries Helps Nice Guys Get The Love They Want
- By setting healthy boundaries with their partners, Nice Guys create situations in which both they and their partner can feel safe to be vulnerable and experience true intimacy.
- In general, when women feel secure, they feel loved. She will also come to know that if her partner will stand up to her, he is also likely to stand up for her.
- To help Nice Guys decide if they need to set a boundary with a particular behavior, I have them apply the second date rule: “If this behavior had occurred on the second date, would there have been a third?”
- When trying to decide how to deal with the behavior they haven't deemed unacceptable, I encourage Nice Guys to apply the healthy male rule: “How would a healthy male handle this situation?”
Focusing On Their Relationship, Not Their Partner Helps Nice Guys Get The Love They Want
- Wounded people are attracted to wounded people. I frequently tell couples that if you have one obviously wounded person in the relationship you always have two. No exception.
- By focusing on the relationship instead of their partner, recovery Nice Guys are able to use their partner to get in touch with their childhood experiences of abandonment, neglect, abuse, and smothering.
Not Reinforcing Undesirable Behaviors Helps Nice Guys Get The Love They Want
- In dog obedience school we learned that if you want an undesirable behavior to go away, you stop paying attention to it. The same is true in relationships.
Doing Something Different When Beginning A New Relationship Helps Nice Guys Get The Love They Want
- A fixer-upper may be a fun challenge when it comes to restoring a car, but it’s a terrible way to choose a partner.
This doesn't mean searching for the perfect partner, just one who is already taking responsibility for her own life. Over time, the members of life no more Mr. nice guy groups have come up with a number of traits to consciously look for when creating new relationships.
- Sexual assertiveness
- Financial responsibility
- Commitment to personal growth
Doing something different also means refraining from being sexual in new relationships. Sex creates such a powerful bond that it is difficult to accurately evaluate the appropriateness of a new relationship.
Chapter 8 Get The Sex You Want: Success Strategies For Satisfying Sex
- For Nice Guys, sex is where all of their abandonment experiences, toxic shame, and dysfunctional survival mechanisms are focused and magnified.
The problems are manifested in many ways:
- Not getting enough.
- Having to settle for less than satisfying sex.
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Sexual repression.
- Compulsive sexual behavior.
Shame And Fear
- All Nice Guys have shame and fear about being sexual and about being sexual beings. In my experience, this is probably the most difficult concept for Nice Guys to understand and accept about themselves.
Avoidance Of Sexual Situations Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Sex They Want
- As odd as it may sound, Nice Guys find many creative ways to avoid sex. I have coined the term Vagiphobia to describe this propensity. Vagiphobia is a syndrome where the penis tries to stay out of vaginas or gets out quickly once it gets in.
Trying To Be A Good Lover Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Sex They Want
- As long as they are focused on the arousal and pleasure of their partner, Nice Guys can distract themselves from their own toxic shame, feelings of inadequacy, or fear of being smothered.
- Trying to be a great lover pretty much ensures that a nice guy will not have many passionate, reciprocal, spontaneous, serendipitous, or intimate sexual experiences – Hardly a recipe for good sex!
Hiding Compulsive Sexual Behaviors Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Sex They Want
- I have developed a theory that states, the nicer the guy, the darker the sexual secrets. Sex is a basic human drive. Because most Nice Guys believe they are bad for being sexual, or believe that other people will think they're bad, sexual impulses have to be kept hidden from view. The nice guy’s sexuality doesn't go away, it just goes underground. Therefore, the more dependent a man is on external approval, the deeper he is going to have to hide his sexual behavior.
Repressing Their Life Energy Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Sex They Want
- Ironically, trying to be nice robs a man of his life energy.
- Women consistently tell me that even though they may be initially drawn to a nice guy’s pleasing demeanor, over time they find it difficult to get excited about having sex with him.
Coming Out Of The Closet Helps Nice Guys Get The Sex They Want
- Getting good sex is dependent on recovering Nice Guys bringing their shame and fear out of the closet and into the open where they can be looked at and released. This step cannot be skipped!
- To release sexual shame and fear, the recovering nice guy must expose every aspect of his sexual self too safe, supportive people. This revealing allows the nice guy to release his shame and fear and free up the emotional energy it took to keep them hidden and repressed.
Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands Helps Nice Guys Get the Sex They Want
- By taking matters into their own hands – by practicing healthy masturbation – recovering Nice Guys can change the most basic dynamics that shape the bigger picture of how they do sex.
- Healthy masturbation is a process of letting sexual energy unfold. It has no goal or destination. It's not just about orgasms. Most of all, it is about accepting sole responsibility for one's sexual pleasure and expression.
- In general, Nice Guys have tremendous internalized shame around masturbation. Many Nice Guys also struggle with compulsive masturbation.
- I have also found that when they share the experience with other nonjudgmental men, their shame diminishes rapidly.
Saying “No” To Bad Sex Helps Nice Guys Get The Sex They Want
- Good sex can occur only when recovering nice guy decides to stop settling for about sex!
Good sex consists of two people taking full responsibility for meeting their own needs. Good sex occurs when two people focus on their own pleasure, passion, and arousal, and stay connected to those same things in their partner.
- They let go of the concept of being a great lover
- The practice being clear and direct
- They choose available partners
- They don't settle for scraps
- They decide that bad sex is not better than no sex
Following The Example Of The Bull Moose Helps Nice Guys Get The Sex They Want
- In nature, the alpha male and the bull Moose don't sit around trying to figure out what will make the girls like them. They are just themselves: fearless, strong, competitive, and sexually proud. Because they are what they are and do what they do, prospective mates are attracted.
- As in nature, the greatest aphrodisiac is self–confidence.
Chapter 9 Get The Life You Want: Discover Your Passion And Purpose In Life, Work, And Career
If there were no limits on your life:
- Where would you live?
- What would you be doing in your leisure time?
- What kind of work would you be engaging in?
- What would your home and surroundings look like?
Nice Guys On The Job
- The dynamics that keep Nice Guys stuck in dysfunctional, unsatisfying relationships are often the same dynamics that keep them stuck in dysfunctional and unsatisfying vocations.
Fear Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Life They Want
- If I were to identify one common factor at the core of every problem experienced by Nice Guys, it would be fear.
- Right alongside these fears of disaster is the paradoxical fear of success.
- Rather than facing these fears – real or imagined – Nice Guys typically settle for operating at a fraction of their full potential.
Trying To Do It Right Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Life They Want
- The essence of all life is evolution and change. In order for this process to occur naturally and completely in an individual, a person has to be willing to let go of control. Letting go allows the beautiful, serendipitous chaos and creation to resonate through one’s self.
- Nice Guys are obsessed with trying to keep their lives smooth and uneventful. They do this by trying to “do it right” and following the “rules”. Unfortunately, this life strategy is the most effective way to put a lid on any creative life energy.
Trying To Do Everything Themselves Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Life They Want
- Nice Guys are terrible receivers. They're completely miserable when others try to give to them.
Self-Sabotage Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Life They Want
- If they don’t start something, they won’t fail. If they don’t finish something, they won’t be criticized. If they have enough good excuses, people won’t expect too much of them.
A Distorted Self-Image Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Life They Want
- At their core, Nice Guys believe they are not important or good enough.
- This feeling of inadequacy prevents Nice Guys from making themselves visible, taking chances, or trying something new.
Deprivation Thinking Prevents Nice Guys From Getting The Life They Want
- This paradigm of scarcity and deprivation makes Nice Guys manipulative and controlling. It leads them to resent other people who seem to have what they lack.
- Because of deprivation thinking, Nice Guys think small. They don’t believe they deserve to have good things.
Realizing Your Passion and Potential
- As men work on recovering from the Nice Guy Syndrome, they begin to accept themselves just as they are. This acceptance of the self allows them to embrace their passions and face their fears.
Charting Their Own Path Allows Nice Guys To Get The Life They Want
- Most people just accept where they are, and act as if they have little power in shaping an exciting, productive, and fulfilling life.
- The only thing stopping you from having the kind of life you really want is you.
Identifying Self-Sabotaging Behaviors Allows Nice Guys To Get The Life They Want
- In order to start getting what they want in life, work, and career, recovering Nice Guys have to make a conscious decision to get out of their own way.
- Developing A More Accurate View Of The World Allows Nice Guys To Get The Life They Want
Remember, what one man can do another man can do.
- If one man can make a million dollars, why can’t you?
- If one man can start the business of his dreams, why can’t you?
- If one man can drive a Mercedes, why can’t you?
- If one man can quit a crummy job and find a better one, why can’t you?
- If one man can be a snowboarding instructor, why can’t you?
Unfortunately, the world can’t give us something that we’re not ready to receive. Since deprivation thinking keeps a person holding tightly to what he already has, there is no receptivity for receiving more.
Get The Life You Want: The No More Mr. Nice Guy Strategy For Success
- Mature, successful people establish their own rules. These rules are measured by only one standard: do they work?
Suggested Resources For Recovering Nice Guys
Codependent No More; How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself by Melody Beattie
Written primarily from the prospective [sic] of alcoholic family systems, this early book on codependency applies to both men and women.
Iron John by Robert Bly
Bly uses myth and poetry to focus on the ways men are wounded in modern cultures.
Out of the Shadows; Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
A leading expert on sexual addiction, Carnes’s books cover issues of personal addiction and traumatic bonds in relationship.
Wild at Heart; Discovering The Secret Of A Man’s Soul by John Eldridge
Eldridge explores how Christian men are conditioned to be “nice” and how this robs them of their true masculine selves.
The Myth Of Male Power by Warren Farrell
A former president of the New York Chapter of NOW, Farrell has written numerous books on men’s issues and relationships.
The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian
Gurian addresses the unique qualities and characteristics of boys and adolescent males in his books.
America’s Sexual Crisis by Anne Stirling Hastings, Ph.D.
Hastings’ books focus on helping individuals and couples overcome their sexual wounds and the dysfunctional conditioning of society in order to experience powerful, unfolding sex.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
The founder of Fear Busters, Jeffers’s book is a readable and powerful prescription for facing and overcoming fear.
Nice Guys Don’t Get Laid by Marcus Pierce Melton, Jr.
A humorous look at why Nice Guys have difficulty in their personal and sexual relationships.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D.
In one of the best selling self-help books of all time, Peck addresses issues of discipline, love and spirituality.
An historian and observer of modern culture, Paglia frequently touches on issues of personal and sexual relationship dynamics.
A pioneer in identifying, explaining and treating the Nice Guy Syndrome, especially as this phenomenon pertains to single men and their relationships with women. He offers an audio titled, The Nice Guy and Why He Always Fails With Women.